Thursday, May 26, 2011

Surviving a Job Loss

I thought about whether I should post this or not and then felt guided to post it. I therefore trust that this information is needed by someone somewhere.

So continuing on the subject of taking action (from my first post - Adversity is a catalyst) ...  Take action to survive a job loss before it strikes.

This is how I survived my last job loss via a redundancy:

I did not kid myself that in a recession and with the Government announcing significant job losses in the sector, my job would be safe. So I created a risk profile and started to prepare myself:
  • To get a job in my field I needed a top class resume and professional certification to ensure that I was always on an interview shortlist
  • I would need to "nail" an interview
  • I would need to safeguard my biggest asset (my house)
  • I would need cashflow for necessities to tide me over while I was looking for a job
I got myself professionally certified as I did not have that.

I started updating my resume. Then I ran it past trusted friends and colleagues. I continued that cycle until I was happy with it. I searched the internet for sample resumes, took bits and pieces from here and there, and added my own unique style to it. The idea was to make my resume stand out. It took about three months to complete it.

I also started preparing for an interview. Again the internet has many resources available. I never underestimate interviewing. It is a skill I sharpen constantly. I practise with colleagues or just by myself out loud. After a while answering questions becomes easy. I have found that interviews where I over prepare do not go well. So I like to be spontaneous in my interviews - that is I don't "learn" the answers.

To safeguard my biggest asset, my house, I took out redundancy insurance. I did this while I was in a job. The insurance pays my monthly mortgage payments for a limited time if I am made redundant and while I am looking for a job. My loan also allows payment holidays. That is, my monthly payments can be temporarily suspended for a limited time.

The period of time for both is short but it's breathing space at a scary time - some peace of mind while you sort yourself out.

I also started saving in earnest so that I would have a cashflow for necessary expenses while I was looking for a job. I put aside a set amount each week even if it's a small amount. I have found for myself that saving becomes easy if I put aside a fixed amount each week into a savings account and then budget my expenditure from the remaining amount. This also helps me cull unnecessary expenditure. And even saving $20 a week adds up to a lot over the years.

Finding a job can be a daunting exercise. I use all resources I can - social networking - like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin. I also network professionally. And I take each failed interview as interview practise.

If redundancy strikes have the faith that you are prepared to deal with it and that there is a job there with your name on it. Eventually that job offer always comes through.

I have been made redundant thrice. I guess some would say to me that my thoughts attracted these redundancies but I look at it quite differently.  I know I did ask to move onto bigger and better, my life's work. I also know that moving from my comfort zone is a hard thing to do particularly in a recession. So perhaps the only way I could move onto bigger and better was through the redundancies.

Some things are meant to be because they are precursors to greater things.

Redundancies made me take a long hard look at myself and it helped me remove notions that were actually blocks to my progress.

Although scary at the time, in hindsight each redundancy has been a blessing. And as long as I am prepared, I know I can survive them.

love and hugs
Suzy.

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